Air Canada and Canada Post on strike, locked out and about to get the TTC treatment

Air Canada and Canada Post on strike, locked out and about to get the TTC treatment

When the Interwebs received word that Canada Post workers were ready to start rotating strikes, the jokes were both predictable and kind of painful—insert your favourite “what, people still mail things?” zinger here—but, really, even Canada Post concedes its mail-per-household volume is on a steep decline. Nobody, however, expected the strike (which has since been upgraded to a management lockout) to be so, well, ineffectual. Frankly, it doesn’t seem that anybody actually misses the mail. Meanwhile, a similar story is unfolding with Air Canada employees, who are also on strike—and whose absence seems to be going largely unnoticed (at least for passengers at Pearson International). But fear not—it appears the federal government is set to spice things up, stepping in on both fronts and legislating workers back to their jobs.

The Toronto Star broke the Air Canada news yesterday:

The federal government is warning both sides in the Air Canada strike that they’ve got two days to hammer out a settlement or face the prospect of back-to-work legislation.

Worried that airline customers will face mounting delays and snarled travel plans, Labour Minister Lisa Raitt on Tuesday laid the procedural groundwork to bring in legislation after 48 hours to end the strike, if necessary.

Then today the government gave notice that it’s also considering sending Canada Post employees back to work, after only about 12 hours of a full lockout. Ottawa, it seems, has learned a lesson or two from the Rob Ford regime: basically that the government gets blamed for any disruptions in public life during a strike, but gets the credit for ending the work stoppage when it decides the time is right for back-to-work legislation. Or, in Toronto’s case, outlawing strikes before they even start.

Ottawa gives Air Canada two days to hammer out a deal with union [Toronto Star]
Ottawa gives notice legislation to end postal strike is imminent [Toronto Star]
Canada Post locks out striking workers across the country [Globe and Mail]

(Images: Air Canada jet—BriYYZ; Canada Post truck—Michael Styne; Striking workers—Kheel Center)